Development of a 100% Biodegradable Stabilized Plant Propagation Medium using Corn-Based Polymer

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2007-33610-18007
Agency Tracking Number: 2009-01115
Amount: $79,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
11 Twin Rivers Drive, Wiscasset, ME, 04578
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 T. Kennedy
 (207) 882-0200
Business Contact
 James Detert
Title: President and CEO
Phone: (207) 882-0200
Research Institution
Stabilized plant propagation media are used throughout the agricultural industry for mechanized planting, to ease transplant and shipping of young plants and to increase efficiencies in greenhouses and nurseries. Rynels Grow-Tech division manufactures a growing medium used by foresters and commercial growers to start seeds or cuttings, but it is only partially organic due to a polyurethane component. Grow-Techs customers have requested a 100 percent organic product that degrades completely. Preliminary research shows there is great demand for a moderately priced green stabilized medium. However, there are few fully-biodegradable, fully-stabilized growing media available commercially. This proposal describes an approach for developing a fully biodegradable yet completely stabilized plant growing medium from corn-based polymer. Our research will complement other research to create biodegradable agricultural products, will result in new applications for cornbased polymer and will build upon the body of knowledge regarding bio-polymer resins. Phase I addresses the chemical and engineering components of developing a new growing medium while Phase II will address horticultural efficacy and commercialization in greater depth. Successful completion of this project will result in a 100 percent biodegradable stabilized media for use in commercial forestry efforts, greenhouses and nurseries at a competitive price.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government